Photography is a modern form of art that covers many different genres. In many ways, taking photos is the best way to create an image. You can frame your photos and display them at exhibitions, or you can upload them to the internet. Nowadays, every photographer will keep their photos online in one way or another. It’s the best way of showing people your work, and you can also make money by selling the images.
However, photos are commonly stolen by random people and used on different websites. It’s not done maliciously, and you rarely see people try to pass a photo off as their own. Instead, it’s more like the photos you see on this page. Content creators need images to supplement blogs or websites, so they search for them online. The problem is that lots of people don’t realize the rules surrounding fair use and copyright infringements. It’s a common misconception that everything online is free for you to use. In reality, as I’m sure you’re aware, most photographers don’t give their work away for free.
With that out in the open, how do you stop your photos from being used by everyone online? It can seem like a complicated task, but you only need to worry about two main things.
Copyright your images
First of all, be sure you have the correct copyright licenses for your photos. Look at the image used for this blog – you’ll notice it has CC0 License written underneath it. This refers to a specific license that allows the image to be used and manipulated by anybody. Unless you pay for a different license, your photos will fall under that category. The precise license you need will depend on what level of protection you want. The best approach is to seek some intellectual property lawyers and talk to them about the situation. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to get the correct licensing and prevent people from using your work.
As such, your work will usually be protected by paywalls of some sort. You can upload them to websites under your copyright license, and you get paid whenever people choose to use them. If someone is spotted using it without your permission, you can order them to take it down or pursue legal action.
Watermark your images
Watermarks are essential if you have images on your website or social media. It stops people from ripping off and using your images as they have your name/logo on them. You should have massive watermarks that span the entire image on your website, as it’s so easy for people to steal the photos. It prevents a simple screenshot or copy & paste!
That’s genuinely all you have to worry about in this domain. Make sure you have the correct licensing as it stops people from using your photos without your permission. Watermarks make it harder for anyone to just copy and paste your work. As all artists know, it can be hard to make a living from your talents. Particularly as there are so many ways for people to acquire your work for free. By following this guide’s advice, you can stop your work from being used and distributed without getting any money for it.
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